Senior high school enrolment has reached more than of 1.2 million students since implementation of government’s flagship educational policy, the Free Senior High School (FSHS) programme, Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has said.
The development comes at the backdrop of continued efforts by government to provide infrastructure and other resources needed to enhance the quality of senior high school education in the country.
Handing over a total of 80 vehicles – comprising 75 buses and five Isuzu Double Cabin Pickup trucks – to some selected Senior High Schools (SHS) at a brief ceremony in Accra, Dr. Bawumia said the increase in enrolment due to the policy is about 50 percent.
He said President Nana Akufo-Addo is keen on repositioning the education system to produce a critical mass of assertive and empowered Ghanaian students, equipped with essential skills for socio-economic transformation.
To this end, he reiterated government’s commitment to effectively playing its role in realising this objective.
The Vice President said: “An efficient transportation system in our schools increases students’ enrolment and encourages many students to stay in school. A dependable transportation system in schools improves the safety of students and makes teachers and students more productive”.
With the introduction of several educational reforms, he mentioned that the responsibility falls on government to ensure staff and students are provided with the necessary support to explore opportunities through school affiliation programmes and other interventions.
“This can be more effective if transportation is made readily available to provide comfort and safety for students. We also know that the provision of transportation will boost enrolment and make schools more accessible.”
In the last five years, according to Dr. Bawumia, government has committed to increasing access to quality education and providing vehicles for senior high schools to support transportation of the growing population in these schools.
It is because of this that he said provision of the vehicles to senior high schools, educational authorities and agencies under the Ministry of Education all form part of the efforts to increase access to quality education.
The provision of these vehicles dates back to March 2020, when government distributed over 365 Isuzu Double-Cabin pick-up trucks out of a total of 840 procured. These were given to all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Directorates of Education, as well as selected agencies under the Ministry of Education.
Additionally, about 493 out of a total 2,000 motorbikes procured by government were also given out to aid the work of circuit supervisors and further enhance their supervisory roles in the education sector.
Furthermore, government procured 320 buses for Senior High Schools in the country and distributed 100 of those buses in July 2020; and 150 vehicles – made up of 100 buses and 50 pick-up vehicles – for use in secondary schools in January 2022.
To complement the investment in transportation, the Vice President added that senior high schools continue to see massive investment in infrastructure including classrooms, dormitories, administration blocks and libraries, among others.
Dr. Bawumia also urged the beneficiary senior high schools to endeavour to develop a maintenance culture to harness the potential of students to achieve the transformational agenda.
Also speaking at the ceremony, the Minister of Education Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum observed that distribution of the buses is a continuous process, and therefore assured that every institution will be provided with one by government.
He said the president is determined to make the work easier, by among other things providing buses which can assist the movement of students.
Meanwhile, he acknowledged the Vice President’s work in leading the transformation that is being seen across many sectors of the Ghanaian economy.